Posted: Tue, 02 Feb 2021 09:22
Sport England reveal that the number of children and young people who were physically active fell during the 2019/20 academic year in England, as first storms and then the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic restricted the type of activities available.
The figures published in January 2021 – about the 2019/20 academic year - show 44.9% of children and young people (3.2 million) met the Chief Medical Officer guidelines of taking part in sport and physical activity for an average of 60 minutes or more a day. This represents a decrease of 1.9% (86,500) compared to the same period 12 months ago, although activity levels remain higher than in 2017/18.
- 45% of CYP are active - taking part in sport and physical activity for an average of 60+ minutes a day, meeting the new CMO guidelines.
- 24% of CYP are fairly active - taking part in 30-59 minutes a day.
- 31% of CYP are less active – which is a 2.4% increase in CYP reporting they were less active 12 months ago.
- Fewer children and young people were active during the summer term than in 2019.
- The proportion of CYP reporting they were active during the summer term 2020 fell by 2.3%, with just over 100,000 fewer children meeting the recommended level of activity compared to the same period 12 months earlier.
- Sporting activities saw large decreases with over a million fewer children and young people (-16.3%) reporting they took part in the last week compared to the same period 12 months earlier.
- Walking, cycling and fitness all saw large increases in the numbers reporting they took part in the last week compared to the same period 12 months earlier.
- The impact is widespread by demographics.
After an unprecedented year, the Activity Alliance feels that it is important to understand the impact on the pandemic on activity levels for all children and young people, inclusive of SEND.
Activity levels and types of activities for disabled children:
- 46.6% of disabled children and young people met the Chief Medical Officer guidelines of taking part in sport and physical activity for an average of 60 minutes or more a day.
- 53.4% of disabled children are missing out on the well-established benefits of being active.
- Only 32% of disabled children feel confident when exercising and playing sport (vs 41% of non-disabled children). In the summer term, disabled children were much less confident (23%) whereas non-disabled children experienced a smaller decrease (38%).
- Only 45% of disabled children strongly agree than they enjoy taking part in sport and exercise.
- Disabled children have lower scores for happiness life satisfaction and things in life being worthwhile.
- Disabled children are much more likely to be lonely: almost a quarter (24.2%) are lonely often/always, compared to only 6.5% of non-disabled children. This increased to 31% for children with three or more impairments.
- A positive outcome of the pandemic was that some groups of children, including disabled children, were less likely to often/always feel lonely (19% in the summer term compared to 26% in the Autumn 2019 term).